Monday, March 4, 2013

■ ETHIOPIA: Works start on new $100mln Ethiopian Airlines MRO Hangar; new Cold Storage Cargo facility to come online shortly.

Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines' (ET) Cargo and Maintenance divisions are to take a step closer to realizing their Vision 2025 objectives in the coming weeks following the launch of construction works for a new MRO hangar facility at Bole International Airport capable of housing Boeing 777s, 787s and 747s. Also on the cards is the upcoming inauguration of a USD3.4million (ETB63million) cold storage warehouse, due for completion shortly.

Bole Airport's Cargo & Maintenance Areas
Bole Airport's Cargo & Maintenance Areas (R Stehmann)
A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the work-site of the planned USD100million MRO Hangar was held during the recently ended 22nd African Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) conference held in Addis Ababa, with the 2 year long contract having been awarded to China's AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China).

Measuring 210m x 117m, the facility will feature two distinct zones - one for aircraft maintenance work and the other for aircraft painting - and will be able to accommodate all aircraft currently operating in Ethiopian's fleet.

Meanwhile, work on the carrier's cold storage facility, started last year in October is nearing completion. According to Ethiopian paper, The Reporter, Asmelash & Sons Plc, a local Ethiopian construction firm, is undertaking the civil construction work while Celtic Cooling, a German company, is supplying and installing the cold room facility.

The cold warehouse will be used to store perishable cargo like horticultural and meat products with an uplift capacity of 4 aircraft at a time.

German firm ICM Airport Techniques and Ethiopian Airlines are said to be close to finalizing a deal to construct a new cargo warehouse at Bole, capable of processing 1.2million tons of cargo every year - similar in size to the Emirates SkyCargo Mega Terminal at Dubai Airport; one of the largest storage areas in the world.